(for Cathy Dee)
You take refuge
in the heaving, sweat-glossed flanks
and in the tirr-rump, tirr-rump, tirr-rump
of the hooves,
falling like finger-drummers on the wide-stretched
verdant heartbeat of Taranaki.
You lose yourself
at a gallop,
wind and motion locked in an intricate dance
across your skin and through your hair.
Some days you samba with the voluptuous tang
of the ocean,
other days you tango with the whip-sharp
Will there come a day
when a nicker bubbles up, like music,
through your dreams,
drawing you from your bed at dawn to witness a whinny
pluming its signature in the frost-still air?
Then, hypnotised by those bottomless brown eyes,
the hemp-feel hair of the mane
inviting entwining fingers
to take the weight and swing over the broad, bare back,
blood-hot against the daybreak chill.
like a trigger finger gently squeezing the flank,
firing you forward for your longest, hardest ride:
past the border of sorrow.
The poet wishes to acknowledge Valley Micropress in whose pages this poem first appeared.